April 21, 2008,
K.H. asks from West Chester, PA on April 20, 2008
4 Month Old Very Fussy and Difficult to Feed
I have a 4 month old son who has been very fussy from the beginning. His ped has said it is probably colic, but now at 4 months, it's still not really letting up. It's also a struggle to feed him (he's breastfed with the occasional bottle of pumped breastmilk). For example, he will scream and scream for food, and then once we give him a bottle to start on, he will drink 1 1/2 oz - 3 oz, then scream and refuse the bottle. Other times (rarely), he eats very well and can drink 5 or 6 oz at one feeding. It is also sometimes a struggle to feed him at the breast. Other than that, he has several very fussy times during the day with uncontrollable crying.
I desperately do not want to stop breastfeeding, but want to do whats best for him. Would we really be seeing an immediate change so quickly? Would removing lactose from my diet have the same result, so that I could continue breastfeeding? Any advice would be appreciated!
J.W. answers from Philadelphia on April 21, 2008
My daughter was diagnosed with a milk allergy at 3 months of age. (she is now 6 years old) I completely removed all milk and milk products from my diet, and continued to nurse until she was 16 months old. It completely stopped all of the problems that she was having. (screaming, throwing up, etc.) It takes commitment on your part to read labels carefully, and make sure that your calorie and nutrient intake are enough to support nursing, but it can certainly be done. Even though in my situation it was a true milk allergy, I'm assuming that eliminating milk and milk products from your diet would help with the lactose intolerance. Don't give up - if nursing is important to you, it can be done. It's hard, but I am so glad I stuck with it.
E.C. answers from Philadelphia on April 21, 2008
If you think it may be a lactose issue try not drinking any milk yourself, or eating any dairy then nursing him. Burp constantly, if feeding by bottle after every ounce. Also some mylicon might help. My favorite colic rememedy is this. Take a tube sock, fill it with rice then put it in the microwave for one minute. Take it out move the rice around inside so there are no hot spots, and rest it on babies belly while they feed or just if they are super fussy. Used to work great with my son.
L.D. answers from Philadelphia on April 21, 2008
Yes! Removing lactose from your diet would be the first step to continued nursing. I have three children, all of whom are allergic to dairy, wheat, and gluten. When my second was born, my oldest had excema really bad, so we cut out all gluten and dairy from our diet. My second from birth on had been projectile vomitting almost every nursing and was extrememly fussy and colicky. Once we cut out dairy and gluten, my nursing baby was fine..no more fussiness or puking. I tested it, by eating things with gluten or dairy in it and sure enough every time she would start puking and be fussy. When my third was born, same thing. He has a few more food triggers to his fussiness, but I knew right away to start testing through eating the foods myself, and cut gluten and dairy out of my diet again, along with the other triggers I figured out over time. Most of the allergies did affect my children almost instantly through breastfeeding. If it was something that bothered them they would puke or get fussy not even 10 minutes after I had eaten it, so I don't doubt that if you are dealing with a lactose thing that yes, you would be seeing a difference already. I know there are people who would argue if or if not that is possible, however, in my experience that was the case. I also experienced my children being weary or wierd about nursing after I had eaten something that would bother them. It was almost like they knew, or could smell, that the breastmilk was going to make them not feel too well if they did nurse, even though they were hungry and did actually want to nurse. Good luck and keep nursing. Nursing is the best thing for your children and it doesn't compare to anything. I nursed all my children till they were three and am still currently nursing my youngest, almost two. It's difficult at first to cut things out of your diet, but what aspect of parenthood isn't worth the challenge! Good luck!
L.P. answers from Philadelphia on April 21, 2008
Sorry to hear that you are having such a tough time with your little one. It DOES sounds like tummy troubles. I would definitely give removing lactose from your diet a try and see if that helps. Kudos to you on your commitment to breastfeeding! When it comes to tummy troubles, breastfeeding is always the best answer for your baby. Formula is much more difficult to digest, so b/c your baby is already showing stomach sensitivities, I would definitely avoid giving him formula as much as possible. Remember that giving him formula can cut down on your milk supply so be careful with that as well. If you continue to have trouble, definitely contact a lactation consultant to see what advice they can give you to help. There are lots of solutions out there that you or I might not think of. Good luck!